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Pale Rider Rides High for AMC

AMC’s premiere of Clint Eastwood theatrical Pale Rider roped in the second-highest rating in the network’s history.

The Aug. 7 airing earned a 2.6 household mark from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. that night, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That performance trailed only the 2.7 mark delivered by the July 17 premiere of John Wayne’s The High and the Mighty, said AMC officials.

AMC vice president of programming and scheduling Tom Halleen attributed the strong performance to several factors: Pale Rider was part of an Eastwood marathon that day; the film was bestowed with the service’s “Movie of the Month” moniker and promoted accordingly; and it benefited from a series of stylized informational, interstitials that armed viewers with factoids about the movie, its actors and other background.

“The bumpers are way to keep the film fresh for those who already have seen it a number of times, or make it current for those who haven’t,” said Halleen, noting that Pale Rider was AMC’s third “Movie of the Month,” a promotional treatment the service intiated in June.

On deck: the baseball classic Field of Dreams on Sept. 10.